Soil Descriptions

Descriptions of soil map units arranged physiographically (i.e. according to where it occurs in the landscape)

Bare sandy flats that form lagoonside re-entrants

Pulaka pits have been artificially constructed and comprise a flat-floored depression excavated to the level of the water table (pit) surrounded by an elevated rim (spoil bank). The immediate substrate (parent material) of both the pulaka pit and the spoil bank are not stratigraphically in place - the pit is dug below the natural soil profile level into unmodified parent material, and the former natural surface and its soil have been buried by the spoil bank.

Riparian fringes of the enclosed lagoons

These soils result from the interaction of humus, guano and water with a parent material of calcareous and or gravel. With the exception of Niulakita, where phosphatic soils cover three-quarters of the island (and phosphate has been mined), phosphatic soils are found in relatively small patches - invariably associated with Pisonia-Hernandia woodland - and nowhere do they occupy more than 5 per cent of island area

Typically associated with the interior part of the islands, particularly the larger more compact islands. Often there is a gradual transition from light to dark soils away from the coast, although in places there is an abrupt break associated with a landform or vegetation change.

Typically found around the periphery of most islands and are developed on the younger, recently accumulated sands and gravel deposits

Villages occur mostly near shorelines and soils were not mapped in these areas

WW2 Airfield areas on Nukufeatau and Nanumea that occur mainly inland along the long axis of a motu, but usually with one or more cross runways.

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